Once again, COVID locks down Germany

Germany became the latest European country to embark on a partial shutdown Monday as authorities across the continent scramble to flatten a rapid rise in coronavirus infections that threatens to overwhelm their health care systems.

In parts of Europe, the new restrictions - which vary in strictness - are prompting sometimes violent protests by people frustrated at once again having to forgo freedoms. And the prospect of a second month-long lockdown is causing discontent even in Britain's governing party, which is proposing the measure.

In Germany, restaurants, bars, theaters, cinemas, gyms and other leisure facilities closed again Monday in a four-week "wave-breaker" shutdown that seeks to force daily new infections back down to manageable levels. Germans have been asked not to travel and hotels are barred from accommodating tourists.

At present, German officials say they can't trace the source of three-quarters of new coronavirus cases. Health Minister Jens Spahn, who himself caught the virus, says he doesn't know where he was infected. Spahn tweeted Monday that the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care has tripled in Germany over the past two weeks, and "we must break this momentum, together and with determination."

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